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Transgression and Subversive Performativity (April 11, 2014)
full name / name of organization:
The Graduate Center, CUNY
CALL FOR PAPER
Graduate Conference organized by the French Department of the Graduate Center, CUNY.
The concept of transgression has emerged, primarily, within the field of ethnology and anthropology in order to formalize unusual or extreme experiences (like sacrifices, for example) – experiences in which the norms of a given society (or community) are lifted, debunked or turned upside down (under certain conditions). With thinkers such as Marcel Mauss, Roger Caillois, or Georges Bataille, the concept of transgression became, then, a powerful tool to think, in a new way (with and against the psychoanalytical discourse), the conflictual relations between the collective (and its sets of norms) and the individual (with its need to express repressed energy). Later, with a thinker like Foucault, the concept of transgression became the very core of a new kind of dialectic (and writing) – a dialectic that would not be subordinate to the idea of a repressed energy, or more generally, to the idea of negativity. On the contrary, transgression, for Foucault, became the name of a new ontology based on a critical and historical approach to norms. Finally, within the field of gender and queer studies, transgression seems to have become the subtext on which the idea of “subversive performativity” has built its own discourse–a discourse that is, at the same time, highly critical towards transgression (for being the ultimate and paradoxical legitimation of the heterosexual matrix) and deeply influenced by it (especially when it comes to proposing a new model of subjectivity that could go beyond the Hegelian model of recognition).
Possible conference papers might take up the inquiries below, but additional investigations are welcome. We invite papers exploring and theorizing:
– Transgression, Performativity and Literature, Genre, Rhetoric, Grammar, etc.
Submit proposals containing an abstract of no more than 250 words, your name, affiliation, and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2014. Presentations must be 20 minutes or less, in French or English.